Music journalist Steve Baltin chats with artists on “My Turning Point” for deep-dive conversations about their lives and moments that changed their careers. Since 2019, this series has released over 120 episodes running less than an hour on average. Recent episodes talked to guitar hero Johnny Marr, rock icon Dave Grohl, R&B star Maxwell, pop/punk pioneer Avril Lavigne, rock legend Slash, and the alt/indie band Bastille.
We are mourning the loss of Taylor Hawkins, the legendary Foo Fighters’ drummer who passed away last weekend. To remember his legacy, we recently revisited this episode of “My Turning Point” from 2020. Steve joined Taylor to share his journey to music and several pivotal moments in his life. He explained his passion for drumming and the jovial spirit of his musical DNA. When he was starting out, he copied Steve Perkins’ drumming style from Jane’s Addiction.
Taylor met one of his first turning points as an 18-year-old living around California in the 1990s before getting a DUI and moving back home with his parents. While his parents wondered what he was going to do in life, he appeased them by attending some community college classes, but ultimately knew his path was going toward music. Taylor landed a job at a mom-and-pop record store and soon moved into his own apartment. He auditioned for different bands, recorded tracks for other artists’ studio sessions, and made demos.
Taylor was hired for Sass Jordan’s touring band, a Canadian singer putting out her second record. He quickly realized he needed to up his game and was nearly on the brink of getting fired during the 8 months of touring. But management recognized he had a “je ne sais quoi,” encouraged him to keep learning, and he finished the gig.
Playing in Sass’ band led Taylor to his next life-changing gig with Alanis Morissette. Prior to the audition, he listened to three of her songs including “You Outta Know” and recognized the hit potential. He joined the band on their promotional tours and was excited to be in his first-ever music video, “You Outta Know,” shot in Death Valley.
As they were touring in a van (with giant cell phones – it was the 1990s), Alanis’ music was blowing up. Records flew from shelves and her band was scheduled to play on MTV’s VMAs with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Oasis. This was around the same time he met Dave Grohl.
Also in this interview, Taylor shared some of his biggest inspirations including Van Halen, John Lennon, Queen, Jane’s Addiction, Neil Young, and more. Taylor discussed drumming for the Foo Fighters and his group, Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders.
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